100 Words - And Something Else

Speaking of Challenges

I finally got a chance to drop into the art store yesterday and pick up some new pastels and watercolor pencils. I'm not particularly handy with them, but they are my favorite mediums other than my camera, and of course writing. In high school I had a bit of talent for sketching. My work was more than once put on display in the school's art case. Funny, but I never shared this with my parents. I can't remember why this might have been, other than I was as private a person back then as I am now.

No, the irony of being such a private person and running a blog is not lost on me. I've always been good at "hiding in plain sight".

Once home I dumped my goods onto the table, cleared a space, and went upstairs to grab some art books for inspiration. Among those books I stumbled across my copy of The Artist's Way, a book I had long ago picked up at a yard sale, but forgot about. The sub-title reads, "A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity". It is also described on the cover as "A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self". Which is exactly what I went to the art store for.

There are 12 weeks of exercises and tasks (I don't think the "12 steps" are a coincidence since the author was an alcoholic who got sober at 30) that can be applied to any art, including writing. SO, if any of you would like to join me on this journey, I'll figure out how we can go through the process on our blogs. I've skimmed the book and the exercises and tasks will take a significant commitment, but if you're serious about your craft, of serious about evolving as a creative, it looks worth it. If you're up for this, let me know in comments, pick up the book (if you order from the link above it helps to support this blog), and we'll go from there.

As for the 100 word challenge, there were a lot of heart shredding pieces last week. Murder, looming death and loss, children in wheelchairs, chasms between lovers, and suicide. If you've been in need of a good cry, grab the Kleenex and go back through the entries. That should do the trick. I chose relative newcomer David of Puffery and Taradiddle. His was one of the most excruciatingly heartbreaking ones.

His death hit me harder than I'd expected. Never close, we hadn't spoken in years. His inability to love could be summed up by any number of episodes from my childhood. But it wasn't isolated incidents that drove us apart. His detachment had become a constant theme of growing up. Successful at everything he did, he bathed in his own self-importance rather than immerse himself in the duties of fatherhood.

That he had been found hanged, shocked me. That the note they found in his pocket spoke of his failure at the only thing he'd ever cared about, broke me.


National Poetry Month is officially over, so this week's word is from The Artist's Way (what else?).